Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • Duncan’s Napoleonic Game with Combat Patrol at Historicon 2018

    Posted By on July 18, 2018

    From Duncan Adams:

    [Here are two long shots of the table to help provide context for Duncan’s narrative.]

     

    “On Friday afternoon I ran ‘Welcome to Sunny Spain,’ a Peninsular War convoy ambush using Combat Patrol: Napoleonic Supplement.
    “The game starts with the French convoy warily entering the town. Bill Mollineaux had the lead infantry, a new player (forgot his name:( ) had the cavalry, and Robert, who played Dave’s Zulu game and wanted more CP, played the infantry in the rear. There was a guerillo band, divided into three groups of six, controlled by Jeff Kimmel of the Rogues, a platoon of Cacadores (2 sections of 8) controlled by Terry (one of my groupies) blocking the road ahead, and a platoon of Portuguese light infantry (2 sections of 8), controlled by Mike waiting to close in behind the convoy after the trap was sprung.
    “Things were quiet until the Guerillos card came up, then the French forward contingent moves out to clear the way.
    “The new player, due to his inexperience, thought that this six man cavalry troop could clear eight elite cacadores out of the woods by charging them. It didn’t work very well.
    “Bill brought up his infantry platoon to try and clear the way ahead by defeating Terry’s cacadores. He was repeatedly undone by morale checks that went very badly for him while Terry’s had minimal effect.
    “Meanwhile, Robert’s French infantry was using superior numbers to get the better of Mike’s Portuguese at the rear of the column, while sending a section to clear some buildings of guerillos.
    “In desperation, hoping to finally put a bad morale result on Terry, Bill sent the French commander charged the woods.
    “Despite having impetus and a better M value Bill lost the fight.
    “Though at the end the French had just about won the rear and center fights, the cacadores were holding strong and it was far from certain that the whole remaining French could have driven them off over time. So we called it an Allied victory. Everybody seemed to have a good time.”

    Duncan’s Zorro Game at Historicon 2018

    Posted By on July 18, 2018

    From Duncan Adams:
    “On Sunday morning I ran “Zorro and the Dastardly Plot.”  I had seven players, so one played the tavern staff. I actually prefer that because the staff can do more interesting things under player control than I can do as the GM. Tom Veilott and his dad Jim Veil, a dad with a son and daughter, Joe Procopio and a friend of his were the players.
    “This was a Blood and Swash scenario with the usual overlapping objectives, but most players wanted to get the treasure of kill Zorro. But first, Bernardo had to discover the villains’ plans and report to Zorro.  [If you are a fan of the Disney show like Duncan and me, you know that Bernardo pretends to be deaf.]
    “Bernardo innocently loiters near the room where the baddies meet.
    “But having overheard their plans, he cannot get past them to use the stairs.
    “So, in a scene that reminded me of Yoda doing cartwheels with his lightsaber, Bernardo jumped off the balcony onto the bar.
    “While the villains put their plans in motion, and Don Alejandro and the tavern staff mix it up with El Comandante, Zorro emerges from the tavern cellar to put things right.
    “He is immediately accosted by Sgt Garcia and lancer Perez who want the reward for his capture. Why don’t they ever get him from opposite directions?
    “Zorro breaks away from Garcia and Perez – making both saves – and attempts to get through the baddies at the foot of the stairs. Garcia rejoins the fight – now he’s getting somewhere, coming in from behind!
    “Zorro was played by Tom Veilott who has been playing Blood and Swash as long as any of us. He knows that staying in a fight to avoid the free hit when there are objectives to reach is a sucker bet. So, Zorro breaks away from three attackers, making two full and one half saves and runs up the banister, making another save. I can just picture Guy Williams doing this.
    “On the balcony, Zorro finds more baddies, and those from the bottom of the stairs have followed him. This is getting ugly.
    “Meanwhile, in the tavern, Teo the bartender has picked up a bench and is bludgeoning one of El Commandante’s lancers.
    “After turning the tables on a minion who tried to push him off the balcony, Zorro has made it into the room with the villains’ ill gotten gains. However, the numbers are catching up to him – too many enemies, too few activations.
    “In the end it was to much for Zorro to endure. Better luck at FALL IN!”
    This looked like a good game with all the usual Blood and Swash hilarity.  Perhaps Zorro will try to escape from the Quartel with Bernardo’s help at Fall In?

    Science Fiction Transports from Things From the Basement

    Posted By on July 17, 2018

    Two science fiction transports from Things From the Basement

    These are two more items I purchased in the dealer hall at Historicon last weekend.  These are MDF vehicles.  They assembled very easily.  I have spray primed them with Army Painter Angel Green.  When the weather is good, I’ll break out the air brush and give them a nice camouflage pattern.

    Pig Iron troops in front of the open-topped transport

    Some Pig Iron troops in front of the armored transport

    Some Stuff I Got at Historicon

    Posted By on July 17, 2018

    Rust scatter terrain from Impudent Mortal.

    The other side of the Rust scatter terrain from Impudent Mortal.

    In the Historicon dealer hall, there was a vendor called Impudent Mortal.  I have purchased things from them before.  The Rust line included MDF buildings and terrain pieces that come with photo textured, self adhesive covers.  I picked up this set of terrain pieces from them and assembled them yesterday and today.

    Some sort of generator thingy from Things from the Basement

    Another outfit I like is Things from the Basement.  Their MDF products are very reasonably priced, and they are very creative.  I saw this piece and had to have it.

    Blood and Swash / Thunder and Plunder Available Again

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Blood and Swash / Thunder and Plunder has been out of print for a couple of years.  I have just loaded it to War-games Vault for purchase as a pdf download.  There were a couple of games using these rules at Historicon, and before I even got home Chris had received in a inquiry how to get them.  These remain a very fun set of rules despite their age.  We have used them for their intended purpose (pirates) and also ancient skirmished to WWII.  Enjoy!

    Other Historicon 2018 Games

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Tank ran a Bear Yourselves Valiantly game featuring Carthaginians versus Romans.

    Tank also ran two iterations of his immensely popular brawl on a train using Blood and Swash.  I just love this game!

    Dave ran two iterations of his Zulu ambush scenario using Combat Patrol(TM): WWII.  Dave is working on a British colonial supplement.

    Chris ran a fantasy game using the under-development feudal version of Combat Patrol.

    Star Wars with Combat Patrol

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Title:  Rear Guard at Outpost Priebe

    Rules: Star Wars Supplement for Combat Patrol™: WWII

    Period: Science Fiction – Star Wars

    Description:  Clones are advancing toward the Republic base camp on the planet of Christophsis.  Supplies are running low and the Trade Federation is refusing to let any through to the Clone troopers.  Droid forces advance steadily.  Lieutenant Boomer and his Clone platoon conduct a delaying action at Outpost Preibe to give time for supplies and reinforcements to arrive.  Can Boomer hold long enough?

    Greg and I ran our sixth game of Historicon Saturday evening.  We used a modification of the France 1940 scenarios we had run in the morning and afternoon.  We swapped out the terrain a bit and replaced the Germans with Droids and the British/French with clones.

     

    Starting deployment for the Clone Wars game

    I don’t have enough droid tanks to exactly replicate the earlier scenarios, so the droids had two tanks, and the clones had shoulder-fired AT rockets.

    Droids advancing

    Clones take up defensive positions atop buildings

    This was probably our least successful game of the weekend.  We are still struggling to get the balance right in these Clone Wars games.  Sometimes the clones just shred the droids and people complain.  Other times the droids don’t die fast enough, and the clone players complain.  We had a critical clone player who didn’t quite understand the activation sequence, and as a result the anti-tank rockets never really played a role.  The droid tanks shelled the clone positions with impunity.

    Cones defend the roofs despite heavy casualties. You can see a rocket launcher in the center of this picture. You can also see Obi Wan Kenobi has jumped on a droid tank to destroy it.

    The clones needed to draw in the droids.  Instead they sat on the roofs of the buildings and just got shelled over and over.  Lots of lessons experienced, but no lessons learned.  Had the clones dropped down behind the buildings out of sight, the droids would have been forced to advance to where the shoulder-fired rockets could have taken out the tanks and where the high rate of fire and accuracy of the clone small arms fire would have been decisive.

    Despite taking cover properly, the clones were torn up by HE fire from the droid tank.

     

    France 1940 with Combat Patrol at Historicon 2018

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Saturday Morning

    Title:  The BEF in France

    Rules:  Combat Patrol™: WWII

    Period: WWII

    Description:  The Germans have swept through France and Belgium with dizzying speed.  Lieutenant Fotheringay and his stalwart platoon form the BEF have been assigned the unenviable task to holding a small rural crossroads to delay the German juggernaut.  Can they hold long enough for their battalion to take up defensive positions, or will they be overwhelmed?


    Saturday Afternoon

    Title:  A Skirmish in France

    Rules:  Combat Patrol™: WWII

    Period: WWII

    Description:  The Maginot Line has been outflanked and bypassed. The Germans are dashing through France to the coast.  Lieutenant Carnot and his small platoon have been tasked to hold a small rural crossroads to buy time for his battalion to form a new defensive line to the West.   Can the small band of Frenchmen hold back the German juggernaut long enough?

    Notes:  Rules will be taught.  Younger gamers welcome with a participating adult.


    On Saturday, Greg and I ran two games on the same terrain.  The setting was a small French town in 1940.  The German forces were tasked to seize the town and eliminate resistance in preparation for the battalion following them.  The two scenarios were the same, but in the morning the defenders were British, and in the afternoon they were French.

    German deployment for both scenarios

    The German forces were the same for both scenarios.  Two squads (dividing into two half squads) were forward ready to cross the stream.  Behind them were four Czech 38(t) tanks and two more squads in trucks.  It is subtle, but you can see that the table with the river bed is slightly shorter than the other tables to provide a look of flood plane.

    The lead German squad

    The British (and French) deployment

    The British (and French) deployment had one squad in the village (but outside the buildings), a machine-gun team in a corner of woods to cover the avenue of approach for German infantry, two Matilda II tanks, and two more half squads just to the left of this picture.  The Germans had twice as many tanks and twice as many infantrymen as the defenders.

    A Matilda’s eye view of the battlefield

    The Germans got three unanswered shots from their 38(t)s on one of the Matilda’s, failing to penetrate with every shot.  Then the Matilda opened fire and quickly brewed up both of the 38(t)s it was facing.

    The Germans begin to move forward

    First dead 38(t)

    Third dead 38(t)

    British infantry caught in the bowling alley taking HE fire from the Germans

    The Germans suppress the British machine-gun with HE fire

    The Germans advance to storm the town (top) while their infantry establish a base of fire on their left

    After losing a tank on the German left, they advanced to the cover of a ruined building and established a support-by-fire position.  They traded fire with the British machine-gun and a half squad of infantry for several turns.

    Last dead 38(t)

    The Germans to to the town and began to close assault the defenders.  The Brits had an ATR in the second story of a building, but it bounced off the 38(t).  A Matilda finished off the last German tank.  The German infantry seized two of the four village buildings.  With the loss of their last tank, the Matilda’s could maneuver with impunity.  They backed off and began shelling the towns.  At this point, we determined that while the Germans held the town, with now support, they couldn’t hold it.  We called the game a British victory.

    In the second running, with the French defenders, the Germans won.  The French lost one H-35, and the Germans lost two 38(t)s.  The Germans were able to seize all four buildings through close assault.

    Both games were a lot of fun for the players, and we enjoyed running them.

    Helm’s Deep and Napoleonics with Combat Patrol

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Bill Acheson ran a Helm’s Deep game using the under-development feudal version of Combat Patrol.  This game uses 4″ tall figures.  he scratch-built the defenses.

    Duncan Adams ran a Portuguese ambush on a French convoy in the Peninsula game using the Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol.

    Border Rievers with Combat Patrol at Historicon 2018

    Posted By on July 16, 2018

    Title:  A Rieving We Will Go

    Rules:  Feudal Patrol™

    Period: WWII

    Description:  Why work for a living when you can just take it from the farmers on the other side of the border?  Using the under-development mediaeval version of Combat Patrol™: WWII players command small bands of rievers as they clash along the English and Scottish borders to rustle cattle and sheep.

    Notes:  Rules will be taught.  Younger gamers welcome with a participating adult.

    Border Rievers rush to retrieve the relics of St. McGuffin from the church

    Friday afternoon Greg and I ran a Border Riever game using the under-development feudal version of Combat Patrol(TM): WWII.

    The Vicar prepares to defend the church (from Sally 4th)

    This game was incredibly bloody.  We started with 68 figures on the table.  The game was scheduled for four hours.  In two hours only 7 figures were left, and most of them were wounded.  The Scottish had succeeded in obtaining the relics and pushed them out of the church.


    Though the game was short, I think all the players had fun, and the rules seem to be working okay.  I am still not 100% happy with the way I am representing armor.  Still, it was a fun game to play and GM.  We had a very good group of players for this game.